Masters Day 1 Wrap: Shane Lowry puts himself within striking distance of leader Spieth

Rory McIlroy is two shots further back after the opening round at Augusta

Shane Lowry, golf, Masters

Shane Lowry, of Ireland, stands on the 13th green after putting out for par during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A very strong opening round for Shane Lowry has put the Irishman two off the lead after Day 1 at the Masters.

The Offaly native finished on 4-under for the round in a tie for second after a storming front nine at Augusta and steady back-nine.


Defending champion Jordan Spieth leads the way on 6-under after a bogey-free round.


New Zealand's Danny Lee is also in a tie for second with Lowry on 4-under. 

Rory McIlroy had been in a six-way tie for fourth in a pack including Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter on 3-under after 17, but dropped a shot to settle for 2-under.


World No 1 Jason Day had been vying with Lowry for second midway through the round but a triple bogey on the back nine contributed to his fall back to level par for the day.

Graeme McDowell finished level for the day, while Darren Clarke carded a 4-over round.

Two-time winner Bubba Watson starts tomorrow from 3-over, while fellow American Phil Mickelson is on level par.